Around France

Uzès Mid COVID, Welcoming Travelers

The gates are beginning to open to visitors and tourists in Uzès mid-COVID, welcoming travelers, mainly from Europe. It’s an anxious time for Uzetians who feel they have been somewhat “safe” in their medieval village. Friends are glad to reunite with their EU buddies who are returning to their second homes. But there’s an undertone of fear about anyone who hasn’t been locked down or quarantined here.

Since my return, I’ve completed two-week voluntary quarantine. To be honest, it was amazing to be back in my apartment after eight months away. (Read more here).Especially when there was nothing I really had to do except sleep and eat. My refrigerator was stocked with food that my friends brought in before I arrived.  All my favorites, of course!

 

“Nothing to do” is not saying I wasn’t busy. I rearranged my kitchen cabinets, inside and out; I chalk painted old furniture, and I accidentally destroyed some of my favorite pottery. Yes, nearly half the pottery I’ve accumulated in France fell off my poorly engineered kitchen shelves. All came tumbling down at three o’clock in the morning! When I was awakened, I was sure that a tank had crashed through my apartment!

Remember this precious creamer from the visit to the Plus Beaux Village Narjac? (Read more here)

Out and About Uzès Mid COVID

I was not required to quarantine by any mandate from border control. (Read more here) Nevertheless, I stayed to myself for two weeks. When “free,” I took off for some of my favorite places.

Uzès Restaurants

Starting my rounds, I noticed most of the local restaurants open for dining outdoors. Servers were wearing masks for their protection and for consideration to their customers.

Villa Curti 

Anytime is a good time for Villa Curti, where you can enjoy a menu that is unique and varied, including specialties from India and the Middle East.

Lunch “bowl” with couscous, vegetables and a choice of chicken, tuna or vegetarian option

Ten

Ask visitors or town folk, “what is your favorite restaurant in Uzès?” Nowadays, the answer is “Ten.” The menu is based on the day’s freshest find; the preparation and presentation are divine.  The service is always friendly and thoughtful. Be sure to inquire about the cocktail specials. They’re Uzès famous!

Take Out Food

Some Uzès establishments — like the hidden away La Boca — still offer foods to take out, as they did in lockdown.  At La Boca, it’s not a burger and fries. It’s velouté courgette or a restaurant specialty offered in individual glass jars.

Saturday Market

Market day is the one time of the week that I ached for while away. Saturday Market was the first thing I fell in love with about Uzès, and it’s still the time and place I love the most. On my first visit back, before Europe’s borders were opened, I was surprised by the number of shoppers. At least a third of the people were wearing masks, as seen below.

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Familiar Places

What is so comforting about returning to Uzès is its familiarity. The streets and alleys are the same; the grand plazas are unchanged; my favorite stopping places are still here.

Uncertain Times

This week, I confess, I stayed away from the market because of the crowds.  I am one of the vulnerable — over 65 years old. Life in Uzès will be different for me now. I feel much like I did eight years ago when I took off on this European adventure. My life will be markedly changed due to travel restrictions, and my self-imposed limits to move about freely. Hopefully, you will join me on this next part of my journey.

Everything is much more fun knowing you’re along. Stay tuned …

 

 

23 replies »

  1. Debby, I am so happy for you that you are back in Uzes. I know you are thrilled. I will be on your adventures with you.
    Pat

    • I’m really happy to be back, Pat. Loving my new place, too, but miss the view of the Duché. You must come back!

  2. Loved your latest update. Please keep informing us on a regular basis. It’s so nice to read about Uzes and see your pictures of all the places I know so well and love too.

    • Uzès is such an easy place to write about. The words and thoughts just fall into place when they come from your heart. I know you understand. Whenever you come back around, please let me know. I’d love to meet you.

  3. Thank you for your blog, it is very interesting, as always. I was hoping you would be writing something like this after your return. In January, I booked to return to Uzes in August for a month. I planned to be driving by car from the UK, but have been in two minds what to do ever since. I would describe myself as not over-anxious, but sensible and cautious. I entirely understand that local people might not feel very comfortable with a sudden surge of visitors, especially the British, who have a government that has made mistakes with their handling of the virus. I also see that some British -though not the majority- have shown a blatant disregard for distancing on our own beaches, which may further unsettle French attitudes to visitors from the UK. There are other issues that make a visit questionable, but of course, the heart wants to be in my favourite place.
    At the moment I have read that I am obliged to stay in isolation for 14 days if I visit France, but it is not compulsory. I do not believe that many holiday-makers will choose to self isolate for two weeks in rented Uzes apartments, before enjoying their holidays, how will residents feel about that? It was also interesting to read about and see your pictures of the market, which looked too crowded for my liking too. I presume it will only get busier as the season draws on. As you can see, I am finding the idea of visiting, something of a dilemma! I would like to know what you and others think, if you have a moment. Thank you.
    In the meantime, I was sad to hear about your ceramics disaster, if you are like me, they would be fond possessions. I have bought lots of ceramics over the years from around the Uzes area. I hope you will be able to replace some of them. Or maybe you will decide to turn it all around, in to an opportunity to enjoy finding new pots and plates.
    Thank you for your great blogs and FB page, it’s all terrific.

    • Simon thank you for your thoughtful comments and concern about visiting Uzès, for both yourself and others. I know just how you feel. It is a scary time. Even after self isolating for 2 weeks, I’m reluctant to spend too much time out and about. But just to take the short walk to Gaiffier’s, or to join friends for meals outdoors, it’s such a thrill. The atmosphere, the stone walkways, the shaded Place aux Herbes are magical to me. I’m relaxing for the first time in months. If you have your car, you might consider taking some road trips to nearby places if you decide to visit. That’s what I’m planning to do. It’ll give me a chance to see some of the areas I’ve heard about, and I can do it by myself. It would be fun while, at the same time, manageably safe. I do hope you get to Uzès because I’d love to meet you. I’m now a big fan of your work. Who wouldn’t be?! So keep me posted. Hope this is helpful.

  4. It’s wonderful to know you are settled back to life, even minimally changed, in your beautiful Uzès. Thanks for taking us along and reminding people how following simple health guidelines can keep everyone safe. Can’t wait to see what comes next in your explorations.

    • I’ve got my “Backroads France” book in hand and a new car on the way. Never know where that will lead. Wish you were here to ride along

  5. Thank you for this. We hope to be down in Uzès again for a few weeks in September. I love reading your blog and FB, it give me my regular Uzès fix. Stay safe 😀

    • I’m so happy to be an Uzès link for you. Let me know if there’s anything in particular you want to know about or see. I will sleuth it out happily🤗

  6. Ah—just replied to your comment on another post, inquiring whether you are back in Uzès. I see you’re there smashing up pottery. No, I know it’s not funny but heartbreaking. The upside is that you’re just where you can acquire the best replacements.

    Nice post. I’ll be enjoying your franco-life from afar for now.

    • Yes, one good thing is I love to shop for pottery! Will enjoy seeing what you’re up to, too…stay safe

  7. You made my day today by posting this about Uzes. We love Uzes, we have spent days there the last two years. I too love the bustling market and lovely shops. Beautiful trees and the square. What’s not to like?

    • You understand how happy I am to be here. Thank you for letting me know. Hoping that you will return and you’ll let me say “hi.”

  8. What do you mean by “legal restrictions” that will change your life in France. My husband and I are living here now and have been since last September; however, we are going home this Fall to get another Visa to come back and continue living here for awhile. Thanks for any info you can share, since we’re hearing so many different things and aren’t sure what will happen. Spent 6 weeks last Fall in Uzes and love it! Gina Berk

    • Thanks for asking me to reconsider my words. I was referring to travel restrictions … particularly for the US and Americans. I’ll be sure to pass on any information I learn. For now, it seems there will be delays in travel and visas.

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